Business & Finance

General Motors denied reports that it plans to make deep cuts in the ranks of nonunion employees. But a spokeswoman said the company will continue with "targeted reductions" on a function-by-function basis through "natural attrition" and offers of early retirement. Last week, the giant automaker said its 2005 income would be half, or less, of earlier predictions and that salaried employees would not receive merit-pay raises this year.

Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. announced that it will buy Inamed Corp. of Santa Barbara, Calif., for $2.8 billion in cash and stock. Both make products used in treatment of skin disorders and reconstructive surgery. Medicis is based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Ask Jeeves, the Internet search engine and portal technology provider agreed to be acquired by multimedia giant IAC/InterActive Corp. for $1.85 billion in stock, the companies confirmed. The buyer operates the USA and Home Shopping cable-TV networks, the SciFi Channel, Ticketmaster, the Expedia online travel reservations service, and other businesses. IAC/InterActive is based in New York. Ask Jeeves will remain an independent brand based in the Oakland suburb of Emeryville, Calif.

In a "merger of equals," Entegris Inc., a semiconductor equipment supplier, said it will fuse operations with Mykrolis Corp. in a deal valued at $1.3 billion. The new company, which will bear the Entegris name, will focus on purifying, protecting, and transporting liquids, gases, wafers, and components used in the semiconductor, microelectronics, and other high-tech industries. Entegris is based in Chaska, Minn.; Mykrolis in Billerica, Mass.

Grass seed and fertilizer giant Scotts Co. changed its name to Scotts-Miracle Gro Co., effective immediately. The Marysville, Ohio, company said it was adopting a new corporate structure that offers "better legal protection" and provides greater flexibility for future growth. Scotts also markets lawn and gardening products under such brands as Ortho, Roundup, Hyponex, Shamrock, and Celaflor, among others.

The automaker Peugeot said it will cut 850 jobs over the summer at its Ryton, England, assembly plant in response to slumping demand for its 206 small-car model.

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